The burden of proof for explaining the markets isn’t on the bulls. Time frame matters when it comes to investing so it’s always wise to give a scenario some breathing room to develop, but as of the close today we will be two-thirds of the way through 2014 and the S&P 500 (^GSPC) is up 8%. Over the last 52 weeks equities have gained more than 20%. Over two years stocks the S&P 500 is up nearly 42%
The horsemen of the apocalypse bears that have been drawing our attention for ages just haven’t been doing their part. Gold (measured by the GLD ETF) is up a respectable 6.7% in 2014 but off 8.7% in the last year. Inflation is almost non-existent as a practical matter. Unemployment is improving. After a choppy start to the year GDP for Q2 came in at a revised 4.2% yesterday.
We can go back farther but it doesn’t seem sporting. Bears have been painfully, wrenchingly, agonizingly off-base over almost any time frame you’d like to pick since 2009 when the Federal Reserve’s insanely high-risk maneuvers were cemented into place. There isn’t a sporting debate to be had between bulls and bears. Ultimately economics and finance are a form of structuring a simple debate over how to make money. Money is the point. The rest is noise. Bears need to justify their place on the soap box. Bulls only need to point silently at the scoreboard.
The Seahawks aren’t going into the season trying to explain their Super Bowl strategy. Eisenhower didn’t spend a great deal of time justifying D-Day. The bullish argument for stocks is this:
In the attached clip Euro Pacific Capital CEO Peter Schiff offers a rebuttal.
On the economy:
The data is garbage. “You’ve got to put 2nd quarter GDP into its proper context,” he argues. The 4.2% print was a simple offset of the Q1-2.9% weather disaster. “We’ve got a 1% economy. People are going to have to figure that out.”
Even at that it’s overstated in Schiff’s eyes. He views the economic reality as being a current decline.
On the apparent success of Quantitative Easing:
“We’re going to overdose on it. The real crisis is not going to be because the Fed stops QE but because it continues it to the point that we have a dollar crisis. That’s going to force a big increase in rates ultimately and this whole bubble economy that the Fed has worked so hard to inflate is going to implode in a big way.”
Strategy: Get long gold.
The Bullish final word:
More from Investing:
- Budget, Tax & Economy
- Peter Schiff